An introduction of a £2.50 an hour ‘training wage’ is being called for by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development on the day that internship schemes for recently graduated students begin across the country.
With CIPD research showing that over a third (37%) of internships are currently unpaid, a policy paper entitled Internships: To Pay or not To Pay? proposes that all interns are paid a guaranteed minimum wage.
It argues that a new ‘training wage’ would help reflect the contribution that an intern is likely to make to an organisation, as well as promote social mobility through encouraging people from poorer backgrounds to apply.
The proposed training wage of £2.50 an hour – which is the current minimum rate of pay for apprentices – would be introduced under the plans, to cover all interns and apprentices regardless of their occupation or industry sector.
Any position that is advertised as an internship would automatically trigger a legal obligation on the part of the employer to pay at least the training wage throughout the entire duration of the internship.
Tom Richmond, skills adviser at the CIPD, says: “The continued existence of a major loophole in the national minimum wage legislation has created a lot of confusion and concern around the issue of whether interns should be paid or not. We believe that the introduction of this training wage would reflect the contribution that interns make to their organisations.”